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Their Heads are Green Hardcover – 21 Jun 1963

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 169 pages
  • Publisher: Peter Owen Publishers (21 Jun. 1963)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0720688167
  • ISBN-13: 978-0720688160
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,532,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Bowles is at his best in writing about places. He can evoke a place with a few sure strokes.' (New York Times)

AUTHORBIO: To mark the ninetieth birthday of one of America's greatest writers, Peter Owen is pleased to reissue a selection of his best work in our Modern Classics series. Born in New York in 1910, he came to Europe to study music with Aaron Copland. In 1938 he married Jane Auer, who was to achieve literary recognition under her married name of Jane Bowles. After the war they went to Morocco and settled in Tangiers which is still Paul Bowles's permanent home. He is the author of the acclaimed novel The Sheltering Sky which has since become a modern classic and which was filmed by Bernardo Bertolucci. His other books include Let It Come Down, Call at Corazn, Points in Time and The Spider's House. -- New York Times

'Very vivid and individual; and of course being Bowles the writing needs no comment.' -- Guardian

At his best when writing about places . . . The best Bowles I have read for a long time . . . Brilliant.' -- The Spectator --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


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Format: Paperback
This is a peculiar work, and one which really doesn't fit neatly into any generic niche. In some respects it recalls travel journals written by literary men in the past, such as Sterne's (Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy, Goethe's (Italian Journey) or Voltaire's (Letters from England) , as it combines descriptive details about particular regions with a modicum of philosophizing and social critique.
The first two pieces in the book deal with Sri Lanka (known in the fifties when this book was written as Ceylon). Bowles lived in Weligma, South Ceylon from 1952 to 1959. A black-and-white photo (all the pictures acompanying the text or B&W) depicts the incredibly lush vista he enjoyed from his veranda. The beauty of the place is largely counterbalanced by Bowles' descriptions of the intolerable heat and humidity of the region, which combined with the incessant swarms of mosquitoes, made a good night's sleep about impossible. This would be a recurring motif throughout the reports. Finding lodging and adequate sleeping arrangements were constant aggravations in the out-of-the way environs Bowles visits.
When Bowles writes of out-of-the way destinations, they really are remote in the strictest sense of the word. He takes the reader to regions that were (and are, for the most part) seldom visited by western travellers, and there are good reasons these are not popular tourist spots. Most of the towns don't possess what any western traveller would think of as a hotel. In practically every town (and that is a loose description as well) the only place a traveller can find quarters is at some hovel, where electricity, much less plumbing, is a rarity.
The reader may ask, why did Bowles choose to visit such remote habitats?
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By Kath on 30 May 2004
Format: Paperback
I bought this book becuase I had heard about 'The Sheltering Sky' and having returned from a holiday to Morocco was interested to read this authors work. The book store only had this so I picked it up and wasn't disspaointed. The book flows with anecdotes about the authors travels and bought back to me the romance and beauty of Morocco. I can't wait to read Sheltering Sky now but I have to wait 3 weeks for it on Amazon!
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